According to sports.yahoo.com, the controversy with the New England Patriots using under-inflated footballs during the AFC championship game started when Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass from Tom Brady. As the story went, Jackson noticed the ball was flatter than usual, and that news moved to the equipment manager to the coach to the general manager to the NFL to the game officials, who swapped out the under-inflated balls after halftime.
Jackson said he just wanted a souvenir and wanted to keep the ball. That’s common. Many players save balls after scoring touchdowns, or defensive players save interception balls, to put in their trophy case. Jackson reportedly did not know that it would lead to the story of the week in the NFL.
“I made a great play on a great player, so I handed (the ball) off and next thing I know, I’m in the middle of DeflateGate,” Jackson said to the Indianapolis Star. “I don’t know how that happened.”
Jackson reportedly said he didn’t know there was a controversy until the next Monday morning, the Star said.
On the ride home from the airport, his driver told him there was a growing controversy about the Patriots and under-inflated footballs. That was supposedly the first he had heard about it.
Jackson told NFL.com the only odd thing he noticed was that the Patriots were using the Colts’ footballs late in the first half. He had no idea why – he just found it strange and assumed the Patriots had run out of their own footballs to use.